February 3, 2014 | Tom Suddes


Synchronicity or serendipity?

Just reading my ROTMAN MANAGEMENT, (the Magazine of Rotman School of Management, University of Toronto). The Winter 2014 edition is all about METACOGNITION … or ‘THINKING ABOUT THINKING’.

There was a great Thought Leader interview with Daniel Goleman who just published FOCUS: THE HIDDEN DRIVER OF EXCELLENCE.

Here is the article link. Some really good stuff on the importance of FOCUS.

Then, today, got my January book notes from Jim Mahoney at Battle for Kids. Yep. The book is: Focus: The Hidden Driver of Excellence!

Here are Jim’s wonderful book notes.

FOCUS is being like a laser … not a blow torch or a flame thrower.

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January 31, 2014 | Tom Suddes


Note:  I was with five different groups this week … speaking, training, coaching.  At every gathering, somebody or multi-bodies came up and said, “Thank you for giving me PERMISSION for _________.”  That triggered this post.


  • And, I give you PERMISSION to BE FOR IMPACT!

I also give you PERMISSION to use all of our FRAMEWORKS, IDEAS, NUGGETS … to help you FUND THE VISION of your organization.

FWIW.  I also give you PERMISSION to take care of YOURSELF!  Family.  Personal and Professional Development.  Taking your ‘birthdate’ off every month.

SPECIAL NOTE:  Many of you have a Social Entrepreneur mindset:  You ask for FORGIVENESS not PERMISSION … now you can have both.

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January 29, 2014 | Tom Suddes

Net, Net, Net Check!

I had a truly energizing session with 500+ members and board members of the Northwest Development Officers Association.

These are my ‘PEEPS‘! As I told them, I have been in development and fundraising for 40 years. I LOVE sharing ideas and nuggets and challenging development professionals.

Half the room raised their hands with under two years development experience! The other half had 20+ years give or take.

Even with this incredibly diverse audience, I think almost everyone ‘got‘ the whole
IMPACT DRIVES INCOME thing. (Just sayin’ … what’s not to get?)

What I wish I would have said, as I shared the Controlling Insight, the challenge to BE FOR IMPACT and the 9 Guiding Principles, was the following:

“The #1 goal (job) of the Green people (development, advancement, etc.) is to write a net, net, net check to the Blue people (the organization/cause).”

What is a ‘net, net, net check’ you say? It’s a real estate term. It means after ALL expenses, including the personnel, entire operating budget, etc. (thus the triple net) … it’s the check that development writes to save lives, transform lives, change lives.

I know a lot of organizations where the ROI is ridiculously small when it comes to cost of fundraising. In my crazy ideal world, that number would be 5¢ on the dollar … not 50¢ or 75¢ or 95¢.

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January 29, 2014 | Kerry Suddes

Thank You NDOA!

Thank you to the Northwest Development Officer’s Association for having Tom as your Keynote Speaker yesterday!  You can access Tom’s Presentation Slides here.

It was a fantastic session and we were excited to meet some of the 500+ Development Officers and Board Members in attendance.  A special Thank You to the NDOA team for a seamless experience – You rock!

Attendees are invited to take advantage of a free coaching call with For Impact. We are offering 20 coaching slots and you can reserve by sending an email to Nicole Winfield.

If you would like to take advantage of this free phone coaching please Include a particular challenge we could address during a call.

If you signed up to receive the For Impact Weekly W.O.W. email we have added you to the list.  If you still need to sign up, simply click here.

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January 27, 2014 | Tom Suddes

Begging for Change

On way to Seattle to speak with 500 Development/Advancement Officers.  Synopsis … Pike Street Market – Robb Pike, a Suddes Group rock star – Robb’s friend Robert Egger.

There is no way for me to pull together some radical, transformational ideas around CHANGE without talking about Robert Egger’s wonderful book called, Begging For Change (Harper, 2004).

Egger is a living, fire-breathing Social Entrepreneur who ran the D.C. Central Kitchen. Twenty years ago, he asked a simple question:

“Why aren’t there more RESULTS from 84 million people contributing $200 billion to good causes?” (Figures, 1988)

Today that question has grown to 100 million people and $385 billion. Egger’s answer reinforces the IMPACT drives INCOME insights, epiphany and point of view.

“Non profits must STOP CHASING MONEY…
and START focusing on the TRUE WORK AT HAND …

He goes on to say that “most non profits have veered away from their original missions and are now caught up in the maddening cycle of chasing after (begging) for money …

I’ve shared the podium with Robert, and heard how he challenged audiences to call a “National Time Out”… so that everyone around the country could ask themselves what the hell they’ve been doing and why.

(I wish I could just give you this book, however that is not very feasible, so go to Amazon and order a copy for yourself. Just read the prologue, the intro, the epilogue and Robert’s Rules and you’ll be WOW’d.) Read more

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January 22, 2014 | Tom Suddes

Gates Foundation Annual Letter

Bill and Melinda Gates published their annual letter yesterday, framed around 3 MYTHS.

“By almost any measure, the world is better than it has ever been. People are living longer, healthier lives. Many nations that were aid recipients are now self-sufficient. You might think that such striking progress would be widely celebrated, but in fact, Melinda and I are struck by how many people think the world is getting worse. The belief that the world can’t solve extreme poverty and disease isn’t just mistaken. It is harmful. That’s why in this year’s letter we take apart some of the myths that slow down the work. The next time you hear these myths, we hope you will do the same.”
– Bill Gates    

Bill Gates was quoted as saying, “The exercise of writing forces you to have logic and critical reasoning.”

That ties very nicely to one of my many mantras, “Write it down. It will happen.”

3 MYTHS … that Block Progress for the Poor.

If you live in (or anywhere near) the FOR IMPACT WORLD … you ought to read this message.

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January 21, 2014 | Tom Suddes


Synchronicity. Serendipity. Spooky.

I LOVE Tom Peter’s ‘stuff’. I’ve been following him for over 30 years, every since his mega-hit IN SEARCH OF EXCELLENCE. I think I’ve got all of his books and pamphlets that he’s ever written.

I’m up at Notre Dame (at boxing) … and I’m reading PROJECT 04: SNAPSHOTS OF EXCELLENCE IN UNSTABLE TIMES. Ten years old. Still ridiculously relevant.

“It is the foremost task – and responsibility – of our generation to RE-IMAGINE our enterprises and institutions, public and private.”

T.P. goes on to make/reinforce a ton of cutting-edge thinking around TALENT … DESIGN … WOMEN … PASSION … CHAOS/VOLATILITY/CHANGE … and much more.

I went to tompeters.com to see if PROJECT 04 was still in print. Instead, I see an amazing 104-page PDF on SOME (REALLY) (IMPORTANT) STUFF, which he posted on the 13th of January on the way to New Zealand.

Save this link somewhere for when you have time to go through all the slides/pages. It will definitely cause to THINK!

  • Do good work.
  • People development, training at very top of the heap.
  • Thank you. Acknowledge. Appreciate.
  • Listen up.
  • Radical, personal development.
  • (My favorite) READ. READ. READ.

Special Note: Yes, it’s a lot of ‘stuff’. But, I promise that you will take away one BIG nugget that will change the way you think.

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January 21, 2014 | Tom Suddes

Big Al on Problems

“We cannot solve our problems with the same thinking we used when we created them.”

Tim Kight’s terrific insight states this in another way: “Every organization is perfectly designed to get the results they are getting.”

If you’re really, really interested in thinking differently, solving problems, a different design, change … I encourage you to check out the new GUIDEBOOK: ON CHANGE.

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January 17, 2014 | Tom Suddes


“It’s easier to change PEOPLE than to CHANGE people.”
Kets De Vries (via Tom Peters)

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January 16, 2014 | Tom Suddes


We are less than 3 weeks into 2014. Perfect time to think about our IMPACT, our GOALS and things we want to CHANGE for the better (in our organizations, our teams and our lives).

CHANGE (THE) RULES is a little play on words. In this generations lexicon, to RULE is a good thing. CHANGE DOES RULE.

At the same time, in order to really CHANGE something (yourself, your organization, the world), you also to have CHANGE THE RULES.

Paul Arden, in his wonderful book, IT’S NOT HOW GOOD YOU ARE, IT’S HOW GOOD YOU WANT TO BE, speaks for a multitude of entrepreneurs and change agents when he says,

“You can’t solve the problem if you’re playing by the RULES.”

I believe it’s much stronger than that: THERE ARE NO RULES!!! (But, there are a lot of problems.)

As always, my goal is to motivate you to TAKE ACTION.

With that in mind, I am sharing with you the ARTIST’S PROOF of CHANGE (THE) RULES.

These For Impact Guides are where we share our thoughts, ideas and experiences … in nugget form … aggregated on specific topic. This one is ON CHANGE … FOR DIFFERENT RESULTS.

Special Note to ‘Tribe’. Please read or download or use … and then get me your FEEDBACK! I’m actually ‘open sourcing’ the document to the thousands of people in our For Impact Family. Please, please, please take a moment and let me know if you find a typo, a misspelling, or a mis-thought. Better yet, tell me how the CONTENT will help you … or where we might be able to strengthen it.


Special, Special Note: Here is the DEDICATION for Change (The) Rules … shamelessly and admiringly borrowed/stolen from Apple’s THINK DIFFERENT campaign. If you are one of the following … you need to read Change (The) Rules.


“Here’s to the crazy ones. The misfits. The rebels. The troublemakers. The round pegs in the square holes. The ones who see things differently. They’re not fond of rules. And they have no respect for the status quo. You can quote them, disagree with them, glorify or vilify them. About the only thing you can’t do is ignore them. Because they change things. They push the human race forward. And while some may see them as the crazy ones, we see genius. Because the people who are crazy enough to think they can change the world, are the ones who do.”

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